November 17th, 2011

Cartier-Bresson Photo Sets Record at Christie’s Auction in Paris

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Derriere la Gare

© Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Christie's

Christie’s took advantage of the interest surrounding Paris Photo last week by holding three auctions at their Paris auction house, one of which saw a photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson fetch a record price for the photographer of $590,455.

The record-breaking 1946 print of Derrière la Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, 1932, the famous photograph of a man jumping over a puddle, was part of an auction of 100 photographs from the collection of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson. The sale more than doubled the $243,000 high estimate for the print. Total sales for the auction reached $2,818,097.

A sale of 51 Irving Penn prints from an unnamed private collection generated $2,848,546. The highest sale at the auction was $492,273, paid for Penn’s Woman in Moroccan Palace (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1951.

The top two sales in the general photography auction also belonged to Penn prints. The still life Two Liqueurs, New York, 1951, and Mouth, New York, 1986, both earned more than $200,000. A pair of Peter Beard prints were the next highest sales. The auction of 56 lots brought in $2,320,576.